Reggie McKenzie's First Draft with the Oakland Raiders Shows New Philosophy
Elias Trejo – May 1, 2012
The Oakland Raiders finished their first draft in the Post Al Davis Era with new General Manager Reggie McKenzie running the show. McKenzie only had five picks in this years draft and had to wait for 94 picks before he had his first pick as a general manager.
Many fans wanted the Raiders to make a move and possibly jump into the first or second round, but McKenzie was patient and waited his turn. This showed the type of patience Oakland will have in the upcoming drafts under McKenzie. There will be no drastic moves made or trades made that will compromise the Raiders future draft picks. As a matter of fact, Oakland ended up with one more draft pick because they traded down in the draft for an extra pick.
This is something the Raiders will be doing more of in future drafts. Oakland received three compensatory picks in this years draft, which are not allowed to be traded. When Oakland's first pick that was eligible to be traded came up, they pulled the trigger on a trade and received an extra pick in the seventh round. This allowed them to draft Nathan Stupar, LB from Penn State, in the final round.
Anytime you can trade down and get more picks, it is a plus for your team as it gives you the opportunity to add more players to your roster. When a team trades down they feel there will be several players that they want still available when their new pick comes up. This is important because every team has a big board that they trust and believe in. When you think a player you want will still be available, and you can have an extra pick, it's always great for your team.
Many "experts" have their own big boards and their best players available, but teams will never pay attention to those. You'll see critics giving their draft grades a few days after the draft, but the reality is it's too early to tell. It's too early to tell whether the Raiders did a good or bad job in the draft. If you look at how they drafted based on need, then you could argue Oakland did a solid job.
Heading into the draft they needed more depth at wide receiver, offensive line, defensive line and at linebacker. All those positions were addressed. Whether they drafted the right players is yet to be seen. Most people say it takes about three years to see if a draft was truly successful.
McKenzie has had to do a lot, with very little this offseason and has done a good job. He's managed to get under the cap and sign players via free agency that filled immediate positions of need. He managed to add depth in the draft, when he didn't have very many picks.
While he's been able to get the job done well in the offseason it will al come down to the performance on the field. The AFC West has become a stronger division this offseason, and the Raider Nation is not looking to take any steps back. They're ready for a competitive season as they've endured 10 years without a playoff appearance.
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